Conservatism's Bankrupt and Failed Ideology Must Be Stopped

I don't really want to stray into politics, but as the election draws near, please indulge me this once - at least until the next election season. I apologize for the ranty polemic.

Modern Conservatism is an utterly failed, worthless, bankrupt ideology whose policies have led to utter disaster and offers no solutions to any of the problems that confront the modern world. In place of solutions, modern conservatism has degenerated into an incohate mass of anger, rage, racism, nativism, xenophobia and homophobia. Modern Conservatism offers no path forward. None. Name one idea presented by a conservative to address global warming, to fix healthcare, to regulate financial institutions, to fix education, to fix infrastructure, to address income inequality. ... ... ... Instead of solutions, modern Conservatives merely repackage and re-brand policies and ideologies that have already been proven failures - sexed up versions of the same intellectually bankrupt ideas that have already proven so disastrous.

Conservatism has been on the wrong side of history on virtually every single important economic, social, and political question presented over the last three centuries.

Opposition to emancipation.

Opposition to racial equality.

Opposition to suffrage.

Opposition to gender equality.

Opposition to integration.

Opposition to evolution.

Opposition to science.

Opposition to social security.

Opposition to welfare.

Opposition to abortion.

Opposition to the United Nations.

Opposition to gay rights.

Opposition to healthcare.

Opposition to industrial, financial and environmental regulation.

Opposition to the clear science on global warming.

Conservatism has failed again and again and again. Indeed, the question is less why Conservatism continues to advocate for policies and practices and ideas that have clearly failed, but why anyone would possibly advocate Conservatism given its appalling and ongoing legacy of failure. Conservatism is and always has been the opponent of change, the opponent of progress. Why? Because at its heart, conservatism is and always has been a movement by the rich, for the rich. And if you are ridiculously wealthy, why on Earth would you want anything to change? Since the rich constitute only a tiny (albeit extraordinarily powerful) constituency, they utilize racism, nativism, homophobia, xenophobia, militarism, abortion and cultural and religious issues that the wealthy really couldn't care less about, to motivate foot soldiers for their self-aggrandizing cause.

The Bush years constituted one of the most disastrous periods in American history. Lest we forget, Bush and the Republican Party's unswerving and slavish devotion to doctrinal, social and religious conservatism and militant foreign adventurism led to the following:

Ongoing disaster in Afghanistan.

Ongoing disaster in Iraq.

Ongoing denial of global warming.

Ongoing denial of due process for detainees.

Ongoing warrantless surveillance of American Citizens.

Creation of 'Free Speech Zones'.

Clinton's 2000 Surplus of $256,000,000,000 IMMEDIATELY handed over to the rich leading to a $415,000,000,000 Deficit by 2004 and over $500,000,000,000 by 2008.

Deregulation of Financial Industry and attendant financial collapse leading to 8,200,000 lost jobs.


Unprecedented income inequality.

Crumbling infrastructure.

The list goes on and on and on. The failures of Conservatism are so manifest and so glaring that it is virtually inconceivable that anyone could possibly advocate for those same policies, let alone that anyone would listen. Yet that is exactly what is happening. Americans are scared. Terrified that the economy is not recovering fast enough. Horrified at the prospect of losing their homes. And in their fear, they have returned to the very ideology that has so horribly abused them in the past.

Conservatism is ultimately an ideology of fear. Fear on the part of the rich that they won't be able to endlessly aggrandize themselves, fear on the part of their poor foot soldiers that the world is changing, that their precious social and cultural expectations and prejudices might have to be reanalyzed, fear about our place in the world, fear about our place in the cosmos. Conservatism is all about fearing the future and looking backwards to the past.

We cannot afford to go back. We can't. The stakes have grown too high for the human species to look back for inspiration. We must look forward and Conservatism either cannot or will not do so. Conservatism must be stopped.

To be sure, Democrats are right to be demoralized. Our leadership has not delivered on all of the promises they made. They have advocated for many of the same lawless detention programs, surveillance programs, drone strikes and ongoing war as their more conservative predecessors. But the alternative? The Palins, the O'Donnells, the Angles, the Thunes and Boehners and DeMints... These psychotic mouth-breathers are simply too Conservative, too dangerous, too reactionary, too unhinged to allow anywhere near the levers of power. They MUST be stopped. So please, for the love of the God I don't believe in, Vote.

End Rant.

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Comment by Steve Ahlquist on October 21, 2010 at 5:36pm
Though pessimism about humanity is inevitable when we look at places like Uganda and the Middle East, and while it is true that conservatism is a dead end at best and potentially catastrophic at worst, I think it is important to remain optimistic, and work in whatever small way we can towards a better, humanist, secular future. Someone alive in 1900 would have had a hard time believing in the civil rights gains of the 1960s, and someone alive then would be forgiven if they never thought they would see a black president in their lifetime. The world, to my mind, is working towards a better future, too slowly for my tastes, but working none the less.
Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 21, 2010 at 2:44pm
I wish I could see it your way. The last century we have seen genocides in Turkey, Russia, the holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Boznia, Somalia to name a few. The rest of humanity does nothing or next to nothing. I wanted to throw up when I heard Obama's response to African genocide. It was essentially that we would intervene only if we got international cooperation.
We are looking at true insanity in the middle east where Muslims are living in the middle ages. We have big segments of America under the spell of christianity. We have parts of Africa where the christianity will make you throw up in your soup. Inspite of the enlightenment and the so called age of reason we have the mass of man embracing one form of superstition or another and those troglodites think they have the market on morality cornered.
Our technology advances exponentially and our ethics and approach remains closer to the stone age than we would like to admit. The things you speak of in your rant are the inescapable products of religion. That same religion has its hands around the throat of humanity.
The religious myth of fallen humanity is of course nonsense but Swift's portrayal is on the money.
Comment by Jeffrey A. Myers on October 21, 2010 at 2:03pm
I was using bankrupt in the more colloquial than legal sense, my apologies. As someone who filed numerous bankruptices at the free legal clinic I worked at during Law School, I should know better.

While it is disheartening, when one examines the trajectory of humanity as a whole over the long term I am actually quite heartened. We've come a long way from the ghastly, barbaric, savage times that produced the tattered scrolls that Religionists base their lives on. Despite their seemingly unending obstructionsim, we have progressed immeasurably as a species. That makes me hopeful. I'm not a believer in the negative course of humanity - I see too much progress for that, too much advancement, too many movements towards greater freedom, greater equality, less violence, etc. I just don't buy into the religious myth of fallen, debased, despicable humanity.

Anyway, you're right. I could indeed substitute Christianity and it would't change anything.
Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 21, 2010 at 1:49pm
I used to make a living practicing bankruptcy law and I see you are perpetuating the stigma and negative connotations associated with that venerable institution.
You could substitute christianity for conservatism in your rant (good rant) without losing a beat. I am starting to think it is more realistic to sit on the banks of the river and watch the inevitable negative course of humanity.


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